Once inside the hotel room the only sound rushing in after the doors have been shut is the sound of the waves crashing against the old seawall outside the building.
Our lives are made up of songs. Tiny, minute, musical fragments scattered in the ether. Maybe it's Fiona Apple singing that 'I think he let me down/when he didn't disappoint me', Aretha Franklin letting us know that 'when my soul was in the lost and found/you came along to claim it' or Mick Jaggger whispering 'Angie, Angie, where will it lead us from here?/Oh, Angie, dont you weep, all your kisses still taste sweet/I hate that sadness in your eyes'. What we can't deny is that we have chosen tracks at some point in our lives that inform our present state of mind. Elation and despair, it's all part of the transaction in which we enter once we strike up that partnership with Miss Music and sign on the dotted line.
But what happens when we turn our stereos, CD players and iPods off? I'll tell you what happens, we allow the original Killer Opening Song in: nature itself.
During K.O.S. recent sojourn in Cuba, our weekly Introductory Album Track was exposed to the elements in the two hotels at which it stayed. In Havana, it lodged across from Malecon, the seawall that has come to signify so much in Cuba's past and contemporary history. In Ancón, the sea was less than one hundred yards away, its surface flat like a spaceship, and friendly as E.T.
Every morning and night it would be the sea the first and last sound K.O.S. heard on waking up and going to bed respectively. Every time it was a different sound, a different language, a different lyric. Neither Van Morrison, nor Santiago Feliú have the sine qua non to compete against Mamá Natura's spontaneous creative output.
That's why this post is dedicated to the ultimate Killer Opening Song: the sea. But if you don't live anywhere near it, then think of the rustle of dry leaves, the drum-roll of the river and the splash of the spring rain drenching you in its melody. Enjoy cows' low bass notes and birds singing, above all, enjoy nature, for it has the best music to offer and when you come back home, give Stevie Wonder's 'The Secret Life of Plants' another listen. It'll be worth it, I promise:
I can't conceive the nucleus of all/Begins inside a tiny seed/And what we think as insignificant/Provides the purest air we breathe/But who am I to doubt or question the inevitable being/For these are but a few discoveries/We find inside the Secret Life of Plants
A species smaller than the eye can see/Or larger than most living things/And yet we take from it without consent/Our shelter, food, habiliment/But who am I to doubt or question the inevitable being/For these are but a few discoveries /We find inside the Secret Life of Plants
But far too many give them in return/A stomp, cut, drown, or burn/As is they're nothing/But if you ask yourself where would you be/Without them you will find you would not
And some believe antennas are their leaves/That spans beyond our galaxyThey've been, they are and probably will be/Who are the mediocrity/But who am I to doubt or question the inevitable being/For these are but a few discoveries/We find inside the Secret Life of Plants/For these are but a few discoveries/We find inside the Secret Life of Plants
Ancon Peninsula, southern Cuba, February 2009. Photo by the blog's author
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